Thoughts on peace in Northern Ireland


The first few steps on the Yellow Brick Road to peace have been taken, the problem is that we seem to take one step forward and two steps back. The Agreement, quite obviously, is not in itself a complete peace settlement in it's own right, but now it has been endorsed, then we can begin what John Hume has called the "healing process" between the two communities of this Province and eventually incorporate the extreme terrorist factions.
Not long before the referendum, there was a television discussion programme in which David Dimbleby interviewed leading 5 political figures in Northern Ireland, and was open to questions and comments from the audience. One comment from this programme sticks in my mind. Ian Paisley had accused David Trimble of being on the same side as the terrorists (i.e. Sinn Fein and the UDP/PUP) in wanting a Yes vote and a member of the audience commented that he, Ian Paisley, was on the same side as the most extreme terrorists – i.e. the No campaign. I thought that this was an extremely eloquent and well made point.

I really don't how to make this point, but why can't we all just live in peace? If you stand outside on a clear night (even in a city) and look up, you can see one of the most beautiful sights in nature – the night sky. Each of the little points of light are stars, maybe with their own planets around them. There are over 10 billion stars in our galaxy – the Milky Way – and over 10 billion galaxies in the known universe, giving over 1022 stars in the known universe (that's 10 thousand million million million). In this enormous scale, the planet Earth is truly insignificant. In view of this scale, why the hell are we fighting over a (quite small) piece of rock? We should work together instead of fighting each other.
At the dawn of the 21st century, national borders are almost irrelevant, not only can I walk over the border from Northern Ireland to the Republic any time that I want, but electronic communication and the Internet traverse all borders. Heck, my town (StrabaneLink) and it's counterpart over the border (Lifford) have even built a joint cinema together. I believe that peace is the first step to a new Age of the world – a united nation of Earth. Only once the world is at peace – both civil and national – then the first building block can be laid for this new planetary state. For only as a single, united people can we truly relieve the current problems in the Developing world and elsewhere, as well as combining the world's resources towards current scientific problems, for example to achieve nuclear fusion. We have the technology and resources to ensure that nobody in the world need ever be hungry, but it is politics that prevent this from happening. Only under a single world state can there ever be a co-ordinated world effort to solve this situation.

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